End of the week thoughts from a restless woman

Seeing as I posted only a few days ago, I do not have much to report on the work week. I have standard tasks that repeat every week: review policy documents or journal articles, write lots of emails, go to meetings, and make phone calls. This week was full of those things, but there is nothing particularly thrilling to report for a general blog audience. The main highlight was that a meeting I had changed the audience focus of the workshop that OSU will be holding for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning this coming fall.

Today I will focus my post on briefly discussing my thoughts about my job and life phase I’m in. If you have been following my posts, I have stated that I really like the field that I am doing policy work for. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning is a fascinating, new, exciting field that I definitely would like to continue my involvement in. While my current job has pretty predictable tasks, I’m not bored with it at all because its related to something I find engaging. I also love the freedom and independence I have to get things done. My supervisors are very trusting of my ability to get things done and I really enjoy that kind of work environment.

However, in the midst of liking many aspects of my job, I am also feeling incredibly restless. To refresh your memory, I am the only Summer Scholar that is from Oregon State University and did not have to travel to a foreign city for my internship. I just graduated from Oregon State and I have lived in Corvallis for the past 3 years. A driving factor behind my choice to become a Summer Scholar for a second time was to give me a cushion to transition from graduation to life as a post-graduate. While I am definitely enjoying my job, a part of me is also wondering if this was really a good decision for me to have made. I literally started this job two days after graduating from an extremely hectic final term of college. In the midst of starting this position, I’ve been moving around constantly and have had a lot of personal life chaos. In short, I’m exhausted and feel like I’m moving along at the level of stress I was experiencing in school. The thought of “traveling” that many graduating seniors claim to run off to sounds really appealing right now.

A larger factor in my restlessness is the discomfort in knowing that this job is not permanent. I will be joining the  ranks of the many unemployed college graduates come August 19th with a very small financial cushion to hold me over in the mean time. I’m stuck in a very tough place where I can’t really run after salaried full-time positions because I plan to go to graduate school in a year from now. Most companies/agencies don’t want to train someone that will leave shortly after investing in them. On the other hand, most “internships” for marine sciences that post-undergraduates qualify for are volunteer or give very small stipends. For someone who has college loans running after them in 5 months, taking a job where I won’t make money does not sound comforting. I have a position in Fiji lined up on January for 3 months, but it is not paid (actually, I have to pay to live there) and I’m having a large debate in my mind if its worth going.

At least, amidst all this restlessness I am satisfied with my work. To be honest, it’s really the only thing grounding me in Corvallis. I will continue to press forward, give my all to my job, and desperately search for an answer for grad school/work; however, I think deep down I will continually have this struggle between counting down the days to August 19th and finding contentment with the blessings that I have in the present.

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2 thoughts on “End of the week thoughts from a restless woman

  1. It is so hard not knowing if decisions are the right ones, or if a different path would yield better results, and to trust that all experiences provide some benefit. That holds true in research, policy, and life in general! Best of luck finding some peace in the struggle.

  2. Just reading your post made me feel restless and initiated my own soul-searching. This summer experience is giving you some valuable think time. Being in the present sounds so easy to do but is so very difficult sometimes. Hang in there.

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